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November 29, 2011

Rivals250: Toughest decisions

MORE: R100 | R250 | Five-stars | R100 tough calls

Rivals.com football recruiting analysts weigh in on the most difficult decision they faced during the discussions for the latest Rivals100 ranking.

Mike Farrell: My toughest decision was dropping Canaan Severin out of the Rivals250 because he's a terrific athlete and such a great, high character kid, but I just don't know what position he'll play. In person and on film he doesn't seem to be a natural receiver so wideout or tight end will take some time and he's not a physical player on defense. He's a very good athlete and will make an impact somewhere, but I think it will take more time than we originally thought.

Adam Gorney: Not having Jeff Lindquist in the Rivals250 was a tough call for me because he put up outstanding numbers again in his senior season and has been really impressive the last few months. Keeping him off the list was really more of a reflection of other players also doing well and Lindquist getting stuck behind a few quarterbacks that we felt wouldn't make it. I've really come to appreciate Lindquist more as a player since I saw him this summer. He's a savvy, poised quarterback who is also a talented runner so he's going to bring multiple looks to Washington's offense.

Josh Helmholdt: Danny O'Brien was a tough one this time around because he was not as dominant in games as we expected him to be coming off a great summer camp and combine season, but then he was playing out of position for his team at defensive end, and doubling as an offensive tackle and fullback on offense. O'Brien needs to be lined up over center to be most effective. Defensive end is a far different position from nose guard, and not being able to evaluate him at his natural position we made no real change to his ranking.

Chris Nee: Latroy Pittman was the Sunshine State prospect we talked about the most in the Rivals250. The question wasn't whether or not he should be within the 250. That was an easy call. The question was: At what position should he be listed? He remained a wide receiver but with his ability at safety he could end up an athlete or safety before the final rankings are released. The long-time Florida commitment recently said it is unclear on whether he starts his career in Gainesville on offense or defense.

Keith Niebuhr: For me, it again was difficult to rank Alabama commit Justin Thomas because we simply don't know what position he will play in college. Thomas says he will get a shot at quarterback, but I have my doubts. So do many other objective and impartial observers. However, because he plays quarterback at Prattville (Ala.) and has led his team to the state finals, you still have to consider the possibility. The big question is, if he's not a QB, what is he? Receiver? Defensive back? Well, I haven't seen him play either of those, only QB. I know he's as fast as they come. I know he can break tackles. But I've never seen him catch a pass or tackle someone. So when you rank him you have to consider all these things. At the end of the day, I just thought Thomas was too good of an overall athlete to not have him in the 250. I'm not sure what he'll be in college, but I'm pretty sure he'll be fairly good at it.

Brian Perroni: It would have to be where we ranked new four-star Daje Johnson. I personally like him a lot as a cornerback prospect after watching him several times over the summer but he had a huge senior season as a running back, causing a lot of schools to start recruiting him on the offensive side of the ball. Johnson sees his best long-term position as being on defense, though. He did not play much on that side of the ball as a senior so it was hard to slot him after moving him to athlete. If I would have seen him play corner as a senior there is a chance he could have been ranked even higher.



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